All over the world, online gaming, video games, and iGaming continue to be a multi-billion euro industry. The advancement of technology and the rise in quality and availability of the internet has allowed for games themselves as well as their playability online to grow leaps and bounds, becoming pastimes that are enjoyed by billions. With video games in particular, you can see a trend of the people who grew up using the old game systems, such as the Sega Mega Drive and Sony PlayStation, continue to be infatuated by modern games as they improve each year. However, other game systems, such as the Nintendo DS and even the now standard mobile smartphone, have been able to reach out to all generations. Despite having just the Irish Sea and a northern border separating them, the gaming market in Ireland and the United Kingdom are significantly different. From video games to iGaming, the UK seems to be more obsessed with gaming than Ireland, but Ireland is definitely on the rise.
Source: Filipparin, via Twitter
Ireland to regulate their iGaming market
Prior to the rapid development of the internet, people in the UK and Ireland would often visit casinos or play slots for real money at their local pub, but now they can enjoy the games from the comfort of their own home. When it comes to online casino in the UK, it’s clear that more and more people are enjoying the casino experience from their devices. For instance, UK casinos offer dedicated apps for iOS and Androids, which enable mobile gamers to get the full experience of their desktop website.
The online sector alone constitutes 32% of the overall gambling market. Of that, casino games produce the highest turnover at £2.4 billion in gross gambling yield, with slot games specifically accounting for £1.6 billion. With laws in place, the UK has been enjoying and regulating the iGaming market, but it’s a little different in Ireland. While the Irish do enjoy their use of iGaming, legislation is yet to be enacted on the Gambling Control Bill put forth in 2013. The Betting Act 2015 did address the world of online gambling, but primarily on the licensing and taxation fronts.
Video games market bigger in the UK
Saying that the UK is in much higher standing when it comes to total games revenue (UK fifth highest in the world to Ireland’s 39th ) would be an obvious statement to make given that Ireland’s 4,773,000 population is a mere 7.27 percent of the UK’s. But, by comparing the market sizes to the respective populations, you can see that the two are closer than the total revenue rankings would suggest.
With China and the United States of America as the driving forces when it comes to video game revenues in 2016, the UK wasn’t too far behind with revenues of $3,941,599,000 (€3,350,417,782 ). Ireland clocked in at $223,633,000 (€190,091,276 ) with their video game revenues.
The gap may appear to be gargantuan, but when looking at the amount spent on video games per person in each country, they’re rather close. Residents of the UK spent an average of €51.04 per person on video games, whereas Ireland averaged out at €39.82 per person. The UK, as a population, does spend more on video games right now, but don’t count Ireland out of growing their video game market.
As Ireland’s gaming markets continue to grow, and legislation is brought in to manage and track the iGaming industry, the Irish revenue will begin to close in on the UK, per capita.